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“The Future of Apprenticeships in England: Implementation Plan”

Volume 569: debated on Monday 28 October 2013

Today the Government have published “The Future of Apprenticeships in England: Implementation Plan” and the associated “Guidance for Trailblazers”.

Apprenticeships are at the heart of the Government’s drive to give people of all ages the skills employers need to grow and compete. They already deliver strong returns for the economy, for employers and for apprentices. A record 1.5 million apprenticeships have been started since 2010.

Following the Government’s endorsement of the employer-focused vision in Doug Richard’s independent review of apprenticeships, and our subsequent consultation on his recommendations, the implementation plan sets out policy, process and time scale for reforming apprenticeships in England.

Our reforms will ensure that apprenticeships become more rigorous and more responsive to the needs of employers. We will improve the quality of apprenticeships by introducing higher expectations on English and maths grading to incentivise apprentices to strive to be the best and an increased focus on assessment at the end of an apprenticeship to ensure full competence.

We are putting employers in the driving seat, by giving them responsibility for developing short clear standards and the high-level approach to assessment that will replace long and complex frameworks, to ensure they better meet the skills needs of employers. We also intend to announce our future approach to apprenticeship funding later this year.

Trailblazers will lead the way in implementing these new apprenticeships, ensuring that employers are involved in their design and that we deliver them in a way that works. We will learn from trailblazers lessons for the future delivery of all apprenticeships. The first trailblazers will focus on vital occupations in the following sectors:



Digital Industries

Energy and Utilities


Financial Services

Food and Drink Manufacturing

Life Sciences and Industrial Sciences

In total, more than 60 organisations are already involved, including large and small businesses and professional bodies. Together they already had more than 13,000 apprentices start in 2011-12

Copies of the implementation plan and guidance for trailblazers, including a full list of the organisations involved, are being placed in the Libraries.